My recent mission was tackling a birthday party for my 8-year-old. I originally had plans of an amusement park with just the family. This is what my little one had requested. Alas when the time came and I gave my daughter one last choice of a park or a party, she was all in for a P-A-R-T-Y. What the what? Okay…fire up the birthday engines. I had to move quickly, I had less than a month to plan this soiree.
I immediately thought of every party that Miss G had attended in the past year. The one venue that was an absolute standout was Ideaventions in Oakton, Virginia. I knew from friends that Ideaventions had amazing after-school programs and also offered some fun camps. I also recalled that my daughter had a great time at a birthday party at Ideaventions.
I started scouring the site for information. They had an insane amount of imaginative ideas for birthday parties. I started looking through the list and landed on the Secret Agent Spy Party. Perfect! Fresh from our trip to see Despicable Me II, I was all in for a “Spy” party with a minion twist. From that point on the experience was simply too easy. I was able to pick my theme and pay for the party over the web. The courteous staff contacted me the next day to discuss logistics. I was invited to see the space and then asked how they could help on the day of the event. Wow!
Here is my daughter's party theme:
Secret Agent Party:
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is a crash course on what it takes to be a secret agent. All agents-in-training are tested on their new, highly classified skills.
Gathering activity: As the guests arrive, they check in at the "lie detector" set up, get our codenames that are written in invisible ink, and make badges.
Activity 1: Build and launch missiles using Alka-Seltzer rockets. They are "tested" to see whose goes the farthest.
Activity 2: Build a flying helicopter with Snap Circuits. Secret agents are "tested" to see if they can make it fly.
Activity 3: Control a robot to diffuse bombs (pop balloons with the robots).
A few days in advance Ideaventions invited me to drop off plates, napkins, forks, etc. They did the full set up for me! They even provided cold juice boxes. They also had awesome Ideaventions water bottles displayed. Each child receives the water bottle as a gift. This comes with the standard package. They even allowed me to bring a piñata. On the day of the party they helped cut and serve the cake and the best part, they assisted me to my car with leftovers and gifts. Just perfect! While the time of my party did not require anything beyond cake, if you opt to feed your guests lunch, there are a number of great pizza places nearby. My favorite is Santini’s. They have the best NYC pizza around! I digress.
Hooray! I don’t know about you but I tend to get a bit stressed when it comes to planning parties. I want it all to work and I want my daughter and her friends to have a wonderful time. I walked away not only feeling like “mission accomplished” for the party but I was strangely calm. It was easy. It was so simple that I took my mother and daughter (hubby was sent home with our crazy toddler) out for an early dinner. I was not exhausted. I was not totally harried and fried. Rather, I was ready to go have a lovely meal at Ozzie’s.
When my daughter said that she MUST have her party at Ideaventions next year, I agreed!
POST PARTY NOTES:
The venue is adorable. It was started three years ago by Ryan and Juliana Heitz. Ideaventions has wonderful reputation in my little town of Oakton, VA. Our elementary school has a number of children that faithfully attend the engaging and fun science programs at Ideaventions. Juliana and Ryan have done an exceptional job of converting science based themes into animated and energetic parties for children. I simply cannot say enough about the exceptional level of customer service and the exemplary staff.
While I picked a spy theme there are a number of other parties that your child can select from the website. I went with a minion plates, etc. and a minion cake from Wegman’s. It was the simplest party I have had for my little girl. In case you are curious, here are some other themes:
Ancient Egypt, Ancient Civilizations, Construction Party, Cars Party, Dinosaur Party, Fairy Magic Party, Pirate Party, Robotics Party, Space Party, Spa Party, Undersea Party, Veterinarian Party and a Whodunit Party.
For more information about Ideaventions parties, programs and camps, visit the website.
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